1965-02-27 - The Chicago Chronicle - Part 1
Summary: Jesse, John, and Cass go off in search of the next part of the mystical doodad in Chicago.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine jesse cassidy 

Our intrepid heroes knew that the individual with the needle was going to be headed to Chicago, when they were going to arrive, and what highway/exit they were going to take to get where they were going. Jesse had a view of the briefcase, the box and the needle. They also had a partial on the license plate on the car. They'd decided to head out early to try and get to the area ahead of time and prepare to wait.

Jesse'd had a buzzing from Gen in his head from the moment they started heading in that direction. It wasn't anything clear, nothing distinct, but it was a decided pull in that direction. Constantine had time to gather whatever he intended to bring along with him. Cass? Well, Cass had a bottle of whiskey and this time a couple of extra changes of clothes just in case he got dropped into Lake Michigan.

The buzzing was getting old. Like static electricity charged up in his bones and fizzling out toward his skin, and all gathering in his head. Makes him feel…fuzzy. And not the fun, drunk fuzzy. Which has made him a little anti social and anxious. Which is FUN in a trapped space, like a car. Even when he has the keys in hand and control of the wheel, chainsmoking like it's going out of style and glaring at the road from behind sunglasses. Even at night, he glares at the reflective strips on the road behind tinted lenses.

Constantine had been getting near absolutely zero sleep. That said he was glad he wasn't driving. People that melt their friends don't get to sleep well. It was a rule… somewhere. He was certain of it. Slouched back in his seat he woke with a start grasping for the ash and gasping for air. His eyes swam for a moment before he reconciled where he was. He squint. "We past that mitteny looking plot of land yet or close?" Yes, let's change the subject. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and looked around. "Traveling across America it never stopped striking me as a score of other countries just glued together."

Cassidy had thought about offering to drive, but Jesse seemed to need something to focus on, and so he remained curled up in a ball for the most part, just sort of in it for the long haul. He'd slept off and on, mostly just to while away the hours, but was awake at the moment. "Yeah," he says to John, "Think we're nearing the other side of the mitteny bit, then we just swing around the bottom of the lake an' we'll be there." He glances over at Jesse and asks, "How you hangin' in there?"

To be truthful, Jesse's barely in control of the driving. Gen's mostly at the wheel, whether Jesse realizes it or not, and that buzzing shows no sign of stopping. On the other hand, it doesn't appear to be intensifying either. He glances over at John then and asks, "How's Michael doing?"

Constantine slid up to a seat and was remidss to get into the details in depth. He was keenly aware of Jesse dodging the question and he gave them the judicious answer, "He's getting there slowly. He's at least up to being able to self-manage." His jaw tilted off and he looked back to Jess, "We'll find the other bit soon enough, mate. THen everyone can calm down a bit." He was still far less than thrilled about what happened to Michael but work was a blissful distraction from all of the things he couldn't fix faster. "We we're looking for a bit of a plate. And likely a miracle in progressby perception."

Jesse's heart jumps, but he barely moves but for a flick of his eyes to the rear view mirror. Reaching up, he adjusts it with a hasty yank to look back at John while he tries to catch his breath. A bushy eyebrow jumps upward in silent question. And acceptance of the change of subject with another yank of the rear view back into place with palpable irritation he's been trying to keep stuffed down since they hit the border of New York. "Oh, just peaches and cream up here, Cass. Gen's givin' me a lead foot. I want to scratch all my skin off, but it's still there, so, hey, I'm doin' better than John's pal. That's something."

You're kind of an asshole, Jesse Custer.

He impatiently flicks the butt of his smoke out of the window and lights a new one.

Cassidy falls quiet, nodding a bit, and glancing between one man and then the other and then decides that being quiet again is a good plan for this trip. So he slouches down in his seat. The road continues to roll on beneath them as they make their way westward toward Chicago. As they begin to turn north, Jesse would notice that they were approaching the exit number that Gen whispers in his head. This is it. He might recognize some of the landmarks outside the windows as those vaguely seen in his vision. Their quarry would be arriving in a few hours and taking the second exit ahead of them. It was time to make some choices and decide how they were going to approach this.

"Sorry. Cass." Jesse grunts, tersely and rubs a hand vigorously over one side of his face, shaking his head and moving around best he can in the driver's seat. No apology for John. "Ah'm feelin' like a compass to find a compass. I don't so much like feeling like a tool." Rocking his shoulders back, then forward again, he isn't so much paying attention when the exit actually pops up until it is /right there/.

"Shit," Jesse hisses and cuts the wheel hard to the right, cutting across two lanes of traffic to the sound of honking horns as he cuts across the filthy sticking snow stuck just in front of the barriers cutting off the exit ramp. They fishtail a little, but they make it. Looking at the other two men. "Everyone awake now?" He clears his throat and coughs a couple times. "So, uh, this is the exit I saw 'em taking…"

Constantine rolled down the window and extended an arm with two fingers yelling, "Kiss my arse you bloody wankers." Such a mouth on him today. Still the outburst was good distraction. He took a breath and looked up to the road sign and offered. We find a point and you get stuck we have a couple knacks we can pull out of our knickers to get us closer. Let's see what Gen says first, then ask her if we can traipse across someplace more temperate." Because he was really getting tired of snow. IT couldn't hurt to ask!

"S'all good," Cassidy says, not seeming particularly bothered. He's good with silence and road trips, particularly when the sun's down and he doesn't have to linger under a tarp or thick blanket. And suddenly they are careening across traffic toward the exit with horns honking and headlights flashing by. He raises his head slooowly and peers over the edge of the window, one brow raising as he tries to figure out if they're dead or not. Nope, not dead.

There's a lot of honking and a couple of belligerent shouts in their direction, but fortunately no collisions as they manage to make their way onto the exit. Gen seems to quiet a bit, once they are at their destination, her humming dying down. It's still there, present, but it seems that they are where they need to be, at least close enough for the time being. From what Jesse could remember, it was still a couple of hours. "So," Cassidy says, "Do we set up nearby an' wait for them t'come by and follow them? Do we try to figure out where they might be goin' around here? Do we go grab a few pints and wait for Gen to start singin?" He glances at the other two.

Driving up the exit a bit, Jesse pulls over into the gravel just before the ditch, enduring the many, many raised fingers and shouts from drivers exiting as well who narrowly missed them. "Yeah, yeah, yeah…" He groans, then sighs in relief while the fuzziness subsides and waves a hand at the cars, twisting around in the driver's seat to look at John and Cass. "That's sorta what I'm thinking? Though, Ah didn't really get a look at the outside, so we're going to be looking at every single plate that passes?" He looks over at John. The experienced PI. "After this exit, I got no idea where they're goin'. Even past the next streetlight, right or left's a mystery. Yer the experienced one, Johnny. Do we jus'…hang tight here an' hope Gen starts screamin' again if the thingy passes by?" Doesn't sound too, you know, pleasant.

Constantine considered the drive and oddly the sky above. "Well we can do what we did last time to a lesser degree. Take a penduleum, the doodad in the other hand, stand at the crossroads and see what it gives us. Generally I'd start there. My suspiscion is correct it'll tell us where to go and only Jesse will get screamed at." What a pal, but not inaccurate.

Cassidy glances between the two of them and gives a shrug of his shoulders, "I'm good at fetchin' things, not so much at figurin' this sort of shite out, but you've got the gold bit, and Gen seems to be at least whistlin' Dixie for the time being. Could try and use the disc like John says, see if it points anywhere useful. Or we could read license plates. How's your vision? Mine's actually pretty good in the dark," he says with a flash of a smile.

"Right, the swingin' thing," Jesse agrees, rubbing a hand through his hair, shifting the odd angles it sticks up at, but doing nothing to straighten it out. It's completely his imagination, but he can feel the headache coming. "My vision's good, but it ain't perfect for speedin' cars zoomin' past us in the dark." He grunts and drops back into the seat heavily once more, turning forward. "How about we head up the road a little more an' see what's on this exit, huh? Maybe there's somewhere a little less out in the middle of the road they might stop. Like a gas station or motel. Rest stop. Somethin'."

Constantine was, weirdly the expert. Being an expert didn't mean that one had all the answers, just one knew how to facilitate either getting them or looking all wise and sage like until things worked themselves out and then splendidly take credit for it later on. Sort of the wizard version of turning it off and back on again. "Alright, we hit up the crossroads, get out some water, put t in a bowl, have Jess bless the hell out of it," pun perhaps intended? "put the pendulum over it and see if we get a vision. Or we can ask those chaps over there if they're harbouring any parts to trans-celestial gadgetry. Your choice."

Cassidy doesn't seem to have any brilliant suggestions, but he seems to agree with both. "Alright then, on to the light, see what's what, and do some mumbo jumbo." Got it. And so they move off of the exit ramp, much to the further frustration of those that they merge in with. The exit ramp does in fact end at a T intersection. To the left, the road crosses over the highway and a sign indicates that there's a couple of hotels and a couple of restaurants in that direction. To the immediate right there is a gas station and across the street, a small diner. The road in that direction seems to just continue on into blackness, and nothing of any particular interest beyond the diner and gas station.

Reaching the end of the intersection, it seems a good enough idea to get gas anyway, and so that's where they park, at leaast long enough to fill up the tank, maybe do some visioning, and regroup to decide which way to go or stay.

Jesse clicks his tongue against his teeth in a for sure affirmative as he pulls the car off the shoulder and back onto the exit ramp. "Just don't piss in it, John, and I should be able to spank the hell right out of it. We gotta gas up anyway." And indeed, that's the direction they take, off to the right to pull up to a pump. Jesse tosses his wallet back toward Cassidy and asks him to go inside and ask them to put two dollars on pump three. Because gas is like…30 cents or something awesome pre-Y2k-y—while he gasses up and sends John in to go get water from the bathroom tap. Which DEFINITELY needs to be blessed like five times over to get rid of what the hell is in it. Gas station bathroom water. Ick.

Jesse is honestly half afraid of what sort of vessel John might come out with, but he's busy gassing up the car and holding a lit cigarette in his mouth while he does it. Because the 60's. Whatever John comes back with, Jesse places the unlit tube behind his ear and stills himself. Whispering a few words, a prayer, a gesture, blessing the water.

Constantine got out of hte car and went into teh gas station. Lucky enough for them the man was a superlative conman and could get whatever he needed through whatever means he had available. He might not be able to plast something from orbit like Strange, but he had a world of utility at his fingertips up to and including telling the fella behind the counter to get him a bowl out of the office and… got one? How'd he know one was back there? Well he didn't but if there was one? GOD he looked amazingly all knowing and that was half the side show right there. As for the bathroom tap? hell no. But that side tap withthe spigot? That worked well enough. He brought the bowl back and set it down, made some squiggles around it in chalk. He handed Jess the pendulem and told him only, "You feel it pull? Follow. You throw that, you gotta find it. We're not making Cass shae it in teh dark." His hand flapped like make withthe blessy, Preacher.

Cassidy catches the wallet when Jesse tosses it at him and he fishes out a couple of bucks, heading into the gas station. He disappears for a moment or two, getting the gas and giving Jesse a wave that the pump is good to go, then he vanishes back inside, poking around at whatever might be for sale in there, or maybe tourist maps. One never knows.

Once John comes out with the water and holds the pendulum, swinging down through the disc. There are squiggles drawn and Jesse blesses the water. Then they wait. Cass is still off inside when the pendulum begins to swing and spin a bit. It seems to be pulling in the direction of the diner across the street, or at least in that direction.

Maps are always handy wherever you're off to! Especially when you don't know where the fuck you're supposed to be going. Don't know where we're going, but we got a map for it!

"Where'd you get the bowl?" Completely retorical. Jesse looks like he's paying exactly the minimal amount of attention necessary, but he's on it. Honestly. He's just antsy from the car ride and needs to /do/ something. Holding the pendulum, at least now he'd be able to get some answers, they all hoped. Jess nods to John's instruction, twitching a quick grin. "Yeah, I gotcha. Don't throw the thing." Winding the chain between his fingers just in case Gen had something to say about it. He tilts his head and clasps his outstrethed forearm as if to steady it, making sure he's not altering that swing. Jesse looks up and down a few times, in the direction of the diner. "Looks like th' little bloodhound's got a scene maybe."

Constantine responded without missing a beat in the same distracted tone, "Where you think?" Rhetorical question, meet rhetorical answer. Yeah he was a dick, but he was a contributing dick. WHat John was doing was glancing into teh bowl to see if he could scry anything from it; any image, any impressions, any winning lotto numbers. Those are nice! When all was said and done he ditched the water back to earth in a direction Cass wasn't walking (in case) and pointed that a way looking from Jess to Cass. "Care to grab a bite, mate? The diner. not me. Just …in case." He was still spooked about that whole to-do with Michael and wasn't inclined to expond or dwell on it. He was also certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that he never wanted to go through that shit with anyone he gave an ass' rats about ever again. Yikes.

The pendulum does seem to tug, but does not go flying out of Jesse's hand or take off into the either. There's just a gentle steady tugging in that direction. Gen is fairly quiet, at least for the time being. She's there. He can feel her, just on the edge of perception, as though she were watching. But for the moment, the buzzing has ebbed. They are either on the right track and she has nothing to contribute — or they're entirely on the wrong track.

Within the bowl of water, John can get another impression of that same car. Though this time, he can get a better look at the face of the driver — a man who appears to be in his mid thirties with black gloves on, and an overcoat for the cold. His eyes are ice blue, hair brown, and he has a pale complexion, looking somewhat haggard, but focused. It's just a brief glimpse, but enough to make an identification.

Jesse's more than becoming acquainted with Gen's 'watching' vibe. He can deal with that. Really, he can deal with a lot of it, so this is nothing. Other than getting grumpy and taking mom-style migrane naps when it gets bad, Jesse doesn't actively complain about being the instrument for a demon-angel. Shit, he's been trained to be an instrument for God, and at least Gen answers his questions and talks to him from time to time. So either they're dead cold and she's exasperated, or they're doing just fine. Yep!

Jesse starts walking in the direction the pendulum is tugging. His steps slow and easy, there's a short whistle in John's direction, and he tosses the car keys to the exorcist. "Wanna grab the car an' meet me at the diner? Ah gotta stretch my legs a bit, anyway."

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 20

Constantine caught the keys. John blinked. John didn't drive. He looked to Cass and back to Jess and nodded. "Sure, mate." How hard could driving a standard possibly be? There were only three little peddles that one stomped on and then you fought withthe little stick. Swore a lot. Pointed the car in the direction you wanted to go. HOW HARD could driving be?

As luck would have it Jessee forgot the one key problem with this equasion: John Constantine didn't drive. Not in England, not in New York. He in fact had a driver for a reason wherever he went. There was a reason for that. It also was backed by a very odd fact: John COnstantine was hyper blessed by forces above and below. It wasn't even because he was fucking liked. Mostly it was to keep what he knew out of the hands of other forces that'd use him, or really because too many things in the after life just didn't want him to fucking haunt them for all eternity. Really John being alive kept him out of more people's metaphysical hair than not, and that was even when he was whipping cosmic forces asunder like his own personal bitch. The result was the same: John Constantine was both unbelievably cursed and somehow the luckiest soul alive (not to be confused with at all fortunate. See your Doctor for details. Void where prohibited. May not be valid with other offers).

John sat in teh driver's seat and turned it on. There we go. Ummm… just in case he did actually make the sign of the cross out of habit. On the first try he stepped on the break and… the wipers turned on. RIght. Neither one of those two. He didn't even try to reason it but immidating Jessee's actions like an ape made… the car go forward with an eerie smoothness. He didn't even grind the clutch. He wasn't doing more than 10 but nothing was breaking. Even monkies can fly a spaceship. It glided to a stop ina parking place and he vowed silently never try that again. Looking to Cass he shruged. "See? Non issue." His happy cursed ass it wasn't.

Cassidy, having still been inside the gas station, witnessed none of this. He comes wandering out and everyone is gone. For a moment, he blinks, then realizes he still has Jesse's wallet. So he thumbs through that, considering what he could do with what he found inside. Then he happened to see the car glide into the parking spot across the street, and starts ambling over in that direction. As Jesse made his way over to the diner, he got no further sensations aside from feeling confident that the compass had pointed him in the right direction. And so, eventually, all three converge upon the entrance as Cass gives John an odd look, "Did you jus' drive over here?" Then he gives Jesse an odd look, "Did you jus' let him drive over here?" Then he shrugs his shoulders, "So, bacon and coffee, and wait for the bloke to show up, eh?"

Jesse's wallet is remarkable!

—y dull. Sorry Cass. He's got some cash but not much. An ID. An old beaten up card for a bait and tackle shop in Louisiana. A photograph of Tulip. One of John's cards. A rubber. Standard things. He makes a point to seem absolutely boring, just in case he's arrested or, you know, killed. Normal stuff. He doesn't keep a card that says 'hello, I'm a member of the possessed assholes club' or anything.

Jesse doesn't make much worse time than John since, well, he doesn't drive. And he's forgotten, completely out of his mind. Blinking up at Cassidy and John when the three converge, the preacher blinks at John and whispers, "Oh shit." Then grins, broadly. "Well, you lived. Hell, who'm I kiddin'? There was a better chance of you hittin' me on the way over here so, cool. /I/ lived."

Constantine needs to add his club membership when he has those new cards made that correct to 'petty dabbler'. Shite. They charge by the letter don't they? John looked Jess over and back to Cass and back. He was almost entirely positive that Manny was about and covered in bruises and a possible hernia from preventing unseen disaster. GOOD! That wingy bastard can use the workout. "Be that as it may I didn't because we need you to drive us back." Yeah yeah yeah and they were mates but he wasn't going to let that go to anyone's head. "I could murder for a coffee and a stack of pancakes." And with that, walked into the diner.

Cassidy wasn't particularly looking for anything spectacular in Jesse's wallet. He was just nosy and curious. He doesn't even take anything out of it, all the change from the gas station there as well. He tosses the wallet back to Jesse as they head into the diner. Then Cassidy looks over at John and shakes his head just a bit. "Coffee and pancakes it is.."

And so our heroes sit down in a booth and ther eis coffee and pancakes and waiting for a while. It doesn't take too long, as the appointed time draws near, when the buzzing begins to pick up in Jesse's head. It starts to grow, and he feels that tugging, an urge to look out the window just in time to see a lone vehicle come down the ramp and move in the direction of the diner, pulling up just out of range where they could see what or who might be inside.

"If you didn't have an ulterior motive, I'd wonder if you were feelin' all right, John," Jesse responds to snark with snark, nice and casual, as is their relationship and all. Strolling on into the diner and taking a seat. Pancakes and hash browns sounds like heaven on earth right now. "You ever had a meal that you swear, this is what convicts feel like havin' their first home cooked meal after five years penned up?" He points at the pancakes with his fork. This. All of this.

The static creeps into his head again, and upon compusion, Jesse begins glancing out the window here and there. Repeatedly. Like a nervous twitch he doesn't immediately recognize, himself. Until he recognizes a flash of the plate, and the preacher slowly twists in his vinyl covered booth to look back, out of range from the windows. "Fellahs. Our date's here, I think."

Constantine wasn't even about to let that get to him. Hell that was a mark of pride making the tired exorcist sit up almost a titch straighter, "Some call it bein industrious, Jess." He sat and just lot himself a bit in the hashbrowns and coffee. He didn't share much of his past at all. Naaaaah those were ugly little sordid details one needed a crowbar and a bottle of whiskey for, though he did offer to them, "Was in the military for a couple tours. Gotta imagine it ain' so dissimilar." Looking up at the note that their 'friend' arrived John looked to Cass and conspired, "I think Jess jsut told us to eat quicker."

Cassidy wasn't eating. It's not that Cassidy didn't eat, but he wasn't really, not tonight. He had a cup of coffee in front of him and had probably had several, considering how many times the waitress came by and topped it up. He glances over at Constantine and nods his head, and then Jesse as well when it appears that the guest of honor has arrived. "Wait for them to come in? Go greet them formally? I'm thinking let them get away from the car, so that they can't just peel off while we're on foot." That's his suggestion, but he looks to John and Jesse to see what they come up with.

"Actually, he's pulled in." Jesse turns his attention back to his plate, something about the moment making his heart rate pick up slightly while he tries to keep cool outwardly. "So eat slower, maybe. That's what I'm thinkin' too, Cass. If nothing else, if he's in here, we can search the car. Could be easy as that." He perks an eyebrow at the other two and shrugs a shoulder, taking a long sip off his orange juice. Because that's what's for breakfast, damnit. "Someone stick around in here to make sure he doesn't leave too fast before the other one's done. Unless he keeps it on him. Be a little trickier."

Constantine considered this and looked to Jess and Cass, "I know both you lads are good with gettin into a car. You want me t' stall em and yous can have a look around while I'm givenin em the shine?" It was an alright plan; let the conman do the talking and let Jess get Gen close to what she was lookin for. He shrugged letting them chime in on that while he sipped his coffee. Taking a deep rbeath he reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card from the dry cleaner's. "Let's see who I am t'day… Ooh Bible salesman? I do love me some irony." He grinned to Jess waiting to be kicked under the table.

Cassidy slid away from the table, taking his mug with him so it didn't look like they had a third sitting with them, and set it down off to the side, "Gonna take a leak." Which was code for, was going to make it look like there were fewer of them than there were, at least for the time being.

Outside in the parking lot, the car door opened and a man got out, wearing a pair of gloves and a coat that Jesse would recognize. The good news was that he wasn't carrying the case, which likely meant that it wasn't coming into the restaurant. The man walked in and looked around, then headed to the opposite side of the dinner to settle into a booth by himself. He looked to be older in years, and didn't really seem to be paying much mind to anyone around him. He took out a small black leather bound book and a pen and began to scribble notes in it before placing an order with the waitress.

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 8

Jesse nods discretely to John as they come up with the shake down of how things are going to go. The bible salesman comment wins a wry grin, keeping his eyes focused on John when Cassidy slides away. Nothing gives a ploy away than giving away your third man with a focused glance. "Are they hollow in the middle?" He jokes and gives Cassidy the most discrete of nods as he leans back, stretching an arm casually over the booth, owning the space. Dark eyes fall back to his meal after clocking the guy. "Right on the dot. Give it thirty for him to settle in." He'll wait a bit longer for Cassidy to do his checks.

Constantine's Cold Read: John can tell that the man seems about as ordinary as one might come. He has gloves on, but he took those off on entering. His clothing is drab and a bit rumpled, creased likely from riding in the car for a long time. He looks tired, and he ordered a large coffee, so likely has been on the road for a while. He seems to be in his late fourties, early fifties. Not in terrible shape, but it's hard to tell with his shapeless clothing that he's much other than of average size.

Jesse heads down the steel staircase

Jesse comes up from downstairs.

Constantine remained talking to Jess a bit and could make a casual, if not outright inconspicuous show of it. Cass got a faint dip of a nod as he slinked off. "Hmmm judging by the look of it our friend might be trapped in sales. Possibly time to comisserate." John let the man settle in and gathered up his coffee in one hand and sighed looking to his mate, "We wait for him t'make the first move and play off it. Should go… fine."

Cassidy comes wandering on out of the men's room eventually and settles at the counter, away from John and Jesse and where he'd left his mug with his coffee. He lifts it and takes a swallow from the refreshed cup. There's a reflection nearby that he can use to keep an eye on the guy from where he sits, and that's where he watches now.

The man in the booth seems to ignore everyone else in the diner and focuses solely on his meal that he orders while the others settle about. The car is out in the parking lot, and from where it is parked, he could see it if he was paying attention, but much like them, couldn't see inside of it at this distance and angle.

Jesse plays it cool, flicking a crooked ghost of a smile at John. "Yeah. Fine." Totally convinced of that fact. Absolutely. Ahem.

Jesse waits for his small group to disburse, letting John get closer as their conman distraction before he signals for the check and quickly pays. No need to gain their attention on a dine and dash while they're trying to be cool. The steps are utterly normal. Eat. Pay. Get up. Head out the door. Walking past their car to spy on the vehicle in question.

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